Sports Institute Northern Ireland

Strength & Conditioning

What is Strength and Conditioning?

Strength and Conditioning (S&C) is more than just lifting weights.

S&C involves any activity used to enhance and facilitate performance. These activities include, but are not limited to running, jumping, agility, core and endurance training.

A training program will be designed which will vary the amount and type of training undertaken at different times of the year to meet the specific needs of both the athlete and the sport. The development of this program is done in conjunction with the athlete’s technical coach and is tailored to fit with and support their aims.

How does Strength and Conditioning help athletes?

For a sporting movement to be performed at a world class level the athlete needs a high level of both the technical skills involved in the movement and the specific strength qualities which underpin it. While these strength qualities will clearly vary between sports, athletes within the same sport will also have different technical and physical strengths and weakness and will therefore require specific interventions. These specific needs are identified in conjunction with the technical coach and other service providers.

Once the specific strength qualities have been identified they will be measured and tracked throughout the course of the year to ensure that the strength and conditioning program is being effective and achieving its goals.

In addition a well-designed strength and conditioning programme, in conjunction with sports medicine support, can increase the athletes’ tolerance to training and decrease the chance of injury. This is done through identifying both areas subject to over load during the sport and individual weaknesses in the athletes.

Snapshot examples of how Strength and Conditioning helps sports

Male Junior Athlete

The S&C Coaches started working with a male junior athlete in hockey to improve and develop his flexibility, strength, speed and movement skills to fast-track his elevation to the senior squad.  The athlete was selected for the senior team for a Olympic Qualification event.

Road & Track Motorcyclist

The S&C Coaches started working with a road and track motorcyclist to target improving his lean muscle mass and upper body strength in an intensive block ahead of his competition season.

NI Netball

The S&C Coaches started working with the NI Netball squad to change their training culture. The coaches developed a sport specific S&C programme in order to enhance the intensity  of play and build more robust athletes.

Rowing

The S&C Coaches have been working with rowing to enhance the quality and impact of the training programmes in rowing. This work accelerated performances in lightweight rowers.

Links

UKSCA: http://www.uksca.org.uk/uksca/common/home.asp

NSCA: http://www.nsca-lift.org/

ASCA: http://www.strengthandconditioning.org/